The Future of Working at UD

Two women with masks on UD Campus

The Future Of Working at UD

As various units and colleges across the University finalize their operation plans for the fall semester, this toolkit is designed to help managers and employees navigate their specific arrangements in compliance with UD policy. Employees with questions on their work arrangements should consult with their supervisors.

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Flexible Work Arrangements

Flexible Work Arrangements (FWA) are an opportunity to manage people, time, space, and workload more efficiently and responsibly by considering both a unit’s operational needs and their employees’ professional and personal needs. Doing so supports a variety of organizational goals including operational excellence, talent recruitment and retention, sustainability and staff wellbeing.

As we emerge from the pandemic, we will use UD’s guiding principles to discover what the future of working at UD will look like. Supervisors play a key role as they translate the culture of the organization to employees. They are also the gatekeepers to flexibility. Over the next year, UD supervisors are asked to support FWA where they mutually benefit operational excellence and employee wellbeing. Lessons learned from these activities will inform our path forward.  

  • Phase 1 (July- mid-August): Implementation Planning 

    • Leaders and supervisors determine FWA options

    • Supervisors create FWA with eligible employees

  • Phase 2 (mid-August- fall semester 2021): Pilot/Experimentation

    • August 15-27 Transition to FWA plans 

    • August 30-FWA plans begin

    • Fall semester-FWA plans monitored and adjusted for optimal operation

  • Phase 3 (Winter session-spring semester 2022): Refinement

    • Winter 2022- FWA plans reviewed and refined as needed

    • Spring 2022- FWA plans continue

  • Phase 4 (July 2022): Operationalization

    • Embed FWA into new normal operating procedures

    • Request changes to physical space to support FWA

These flexible work arrangements (FWA) definitions provide a shared understanding of terms in order to create consistent and equitable arrangements throughout the UD community. 

To learn more see DRAFT FWA Policy

Developing Flexible Work Arrangements 

Flexible work arrangements (FWA) options are designed to balance the organizational needs of the University as a whole, specific departments and individual employees in an equitable manner. Supervisors should consider each employee’s position description and responsibilities, and their abilities to be successful in an FWA.

Not all positions are suitable for FWA, however most positions have options for flexibility of scheduling, depending upon organizational needs and employee suitability. Regulatory and contractual requirements should also be considered.

Suitable positions may include  

  • Administrative support function
  • Not student or customer-facing
  • Measurable outcomes
  • Collaboration can be achieved remotely
  • Prior to Spring 2020, most work was completed in office

Unsuitable positions may include

  • Student or customer-facing
  • Walk-in student or customer service
  • On-campus resources required, such as lab space or facility needs
  • High levels of personal interaction
  • Management of on-campus team

Options for everyone
Remote work is not the only option for FWA. The following options may be applicable to all roles.

  • Alternative arrival or departure times
  • Compressed schedules
  • Job share
  • Reduction in time

Employees should be assessed for their abilities to be successful with a FWA. Factors supervisors may consider include:

  • Acceptable past performance ratings that meet or exceed expectations. 

    • An employee whose ratings do not meet expectations or who is on a Performance Improvement Plan is not eligible.

  • Consistently demonstrates strong levels of accountability, autonomy, reliability, engagement and productivity 

  • Past success in working in environments with little external structure

  • Past compliance with time and leave reporting procedures

  • If an employee requires a workplace accommodation to work remotely due to medical reasons, the employee should be referred to UD’s Office for Disability Support Services for assistance.

  • If the employee is on a visa, the employee must comply with the visa requirements and ensure that they can be met in a remote work environment. For more information, employees should contact the UD’s Office of International Students and Scholars.

  • If the employee is currently residing out of state, the employee must comply with all state laws that impact their remote work.

Workplace Location Decision Tree 

Developing a FWA requires a collaborative discussion between a supervisor and an employee. Once eligibility is determined, schedule a meeting to discuss options and create a plan that meets organizational and individual needs.

Supervisor FWA Discussion Guide

FWA Template–a formal agreement is not required this year, however this template may be a helpful reference.

The FWA should be reviewed periodically to ensure success. If any adjustments to the arrangement are agreed to between the employee and the supervisor, they should be noted for review during the refinement period. Further amendments may be made in early 2022 as we continue learning about what works best.  

Hybrid teams will be a new way of working for many employees. While these changes may be challenging at first, flexible work arrangements provide new opportunities for growth and innovation. Plan how you can best go about managing a hybrid team.

This section has been created in response to questions that were submitted from UD employees. If you have a question that has not been answered in the information provided, please submit this FAQ form.

The future of working at ud

As we move forward, UD people will be at the center of all of our efforts. We will continue to process what has happened over the past year, to listen and potentially to implement revised and new benefits.

Your insights and discussions will be invaluable to arriving at the best outcome. Our goal is to include as many voices as possible, to respond in a measured, thoughtful way and to be transparent with this community through our communication.


Coronavirus Information and Resources

Protect the Flock

What are your thoughts and feelings about the COVID-19 vaccine?

Take a few moments and watch the following video featuring two highly respected members of our UD community: Dr. Joan Coker, Physician and University Trustee, and Dr. Tim Dowling, Physician and Director, Student Health Services, where they discuss their views on the vaccines and where to get trusted information, Building Community Through Vaccine Confidence.

Working from home desk set up

Looking Back to Look Forward

At UD, our people are linked inextricably with our values. These words resonate now more than ever as we come off the heels of a challenging 2020 and begin to see the rewards of our employees’ hard work throughout 2021. These milestones could not have been achieved without the tireless efforts of UD faculty and staff. Take a look at our Milestones from 2021. At the end of the timeline, please help us by filling out a brief survey

View our milestones

Building a people centered culture

Responding with Resilience

Responding with Resilience, A Re-Coop Day Panel Discussion

This virtual session was recorded and can be viewed on UD Employee Health and Wellbeing’s Capture page. We encourage you to share with anyone in the UD community who may be interested in this conversation about redefining resilience and creating a more equitable campus.

Center for Counseling and Student Development staff

Blue Hen Heroes

During the COVID-19 pandemic, employees persevered to keep the UD community up and running. This monthly segment on Working at UD highlights some of our Blue Hen Heroes who are working diligently each day to create and maintain safe spaces for us all, while continuing to meet challenges of protecting the flock. Nominate them for the Blue Hen Hero segment here.

Read more

Sharon Pitt

The amazing UDIT-ATS team has worked nights, days and weekends throughout the pandemic to support faculty in their pivot to online teaching…and now, the pivot to hybrid course delivery methods. This creative and expert team researched, deployed and documented new tools and services to ensure that faculty had access to the very best capabilities to ensure high quality learning experiences for UD’s students.

- Sharon Pitt,
Vice President for Information Technologies

José-Luis Riera,  vice president for student life

Since the outbreak of the pandemic, the employees of the Division of Student Life have been on-campus, fully remote and everywhere in between.  Centered on our students’ needs, we are driven to take the many learnings of in-person, hybrid, flex and remote working from the past year and make strategic decisions to optimize our work modalities.  We will leverage a diverse range of work modalities to continue attracting the very best talent to UD as we seek to advance equity and inclusion, drive holistic development and deepen student learning!

- José-Luis Riera,
Vice President for Student Life

Erin Marchlik

Starting a new job in these unique times has been both challenging and rewarding. I have been remote for nearly a year, my coworkers have been welcoming, patient and willing to share their knowledge, all of which I sincerely appreciate. With Zoom and Teams, I was able to meet with my manager and coworkers "in person" and participate in meetings, townhalls and Wellbeing programs. I look forward to working on and being campus, and meeting employees that I have worked for the past year. Other employees have told me about the “Campus Vibe" and though I do not doubt there will be changes, I hope that “Vibe” still exists.

- Erin Marchlik,
Compensation Analyst